Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Being Ready

"My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up." -Ps 5:3

My prayer times is lacking...almost non-existent.  It is work and takes time and I am lazy.  Oh, I pray at meal time and at little times throughout the day, but rarely do I take time to just pray and pour out my heart to my Saviour and ask for His direction. 

Yesterday, the Lord reminded me how much I need to be in prayer and having an actual relationship with him.  I was put in an unexpected situation and was at loss for words.  It wasn't a bad situation.  Simply a situation where I needed my words to be directed by the Holy Spirit.  If I had been taking the time in my personal Bible time to truly fellowship with the Lord and plead for His direction, I may have been prepared and not felt like I blundered everything.

A relationship with someone requires communication.  Many times in our human relationships we get frustrated because "They just aren't listening!"  To have a true relationship with God we need to communicate.  Not just hear what He has to say from His Word, but talk to Him.  Reading the Bible is important, but it is not communicating.  We/I cannot have a relationship with someone who I don't take the time to talk to.  There will be no fellowship there, no intimate relationship built.    In turn, I will have no direction for the day.  I will be doing things through me and my wisdom and have no idea what God wants me to do.

Mrs. Lee Marshall said one time (I am paraphrasing) what we get from God in our devotions we can give to our chilldren.  That works not only for our children but for everyone around us.  If I am comuning with my Lord, He will give me what I need.  When a situation arises I will have His words and direction.  I know this.  I just need to apply it to my life.  Through the next several days I need to evaluate my prayer/devotional time and come up with a plan and some goals to make it better. 

"Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.  Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee."--Ps. 51:10-13

Monday, June 27, 2011

Dedication

Some friends of our, Dan and Patty pastor a church in Massachusetts (well, Dan does).  They are church planters in a very small community.  For the past 5 years they have been meeting in a local elementary school.  Recently, God blessed them with a new building.  The past 10 days have been a whirlwind for them and their church members.  They bought an older church building which needed much cosmetic updates.  New paint, lighting, a baby grand piano, flowers and they were ready for their dedication services.

We had the opportunity to go up and help.  We arrived Saturday around 3:45...a little later than expected as Dave's street ministry ran late.  After a brief visit, Patty and her sister were off to the store.  Dave, the kids and I went over to the church to help in any way we could.  Setting up tables and chairs, dusting, vacuuming, washing, organizing the nursery, many other things.  The church was ready for the next morning services.  Praise the Lord!!!

At 8:00ish we headed back to the house.  After supper, food preparations were finished for the next day's "meals on the grounds."  Patty's sister and part of her family were up to help.  They did most of the food preparations.  They could run a catering business!  They were very efficient and everything looked wonderful.  I headed to bed about 12:45a.m.  They were still working.  I don't know how they do it. 

We woke up to eggs, pancakes, baon, toast, homemade apple and grape juice and coffee.  What a way to start the day!!!  Thank you Cathy, Amanda, Chris, and Scott!!! 

The services were a tremendous blessing. Bro. Dan Sousa was the guest preacher.  Dave, the kids and I had the priviledge to sing 4 times in different combinations.  Thank you Lord for your guidance in choosing songs and the ability to sing! 

We left Dan and Patty's home around 9:00 p.m.  It had been a long tiresome day.  A good day.  A day to look at and see how the Lord has blessed two people, their family, and a small congregation.  A day we were able to be part of in a small way.  May God continue to bless Chester Baptist Church http://www.chesterbaptistchurch.org/.

It is funny.  I wasn't around when my home church was meeting in the YMCA or when they converted a grange hall into a church.  It must have been a lot like what we experienced this past weekend.  Now we have a new building that seats probably 400ish people.  We have come along way.  "What hath God wrought!"  God is faithful.  We have to follow him.  Not get ahead or lag behind, but follow and He will do the work.  Personally, that is something I need to get a grasp on.  Doing His will and pleasure. Not trying to force my way, but patiently follow. 

"The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way."--Ps 37:23

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A day at the park

What better way to spend a sunny, summer day than at a shady park with the kids, my sister-in-law and 16 month old nephew (I miss that age)?!?   The park was great!!!  Two playgrounds, a little "bird zoo" area, a nature center, frog pond, walking trails all for $4.  You can't beat that.  The kids didn't want to leave.  We will definitely try to make it there again this summer. 

As a last minute surprise we stopped to see Daddy at work at the hospital.  LE took a little coaxing because she wanted to go back to the playground.  It was nice to see where Dad works in Clinical Engineering (even though as WD put it, "You need some ladies working there.  They would clean it up."  LOL).  WD and LE enjoyed ice cream while Dad finished his lunch.  Not only did we get to see Daddy, we saw Grandpa.  Grandpa gave us the tour of all of the secret places that visitors don't usually get to go.  Daddy has only been there a year, but maybe someday he will be sneaking us through the kitchen, ER and into the boiler room. 

On the way home we stopped at the Salvation Army...not much to speak of.  Then JoAnn's to buy fabric for some cullottes I am making.  (That will be another post.  Hopefully the don't come out awful.  I have visions of burlap sacks...ugh!)  Three weary bodies left JoAnn's and headed home.  Surprisingly both kids made it home without falling asleep.  Once home, LE played on the slip and slide.  WD said it was too hot and wanted to play inside.   We ended our day...at 7:45...with grilled chicken and corn on the cob, Bible time, singing practice, and a few chapters of Brighty of the Grand Canyon by Marguerite Henry.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Birthday Out

My birthday is June 2.  I am not one for parties.  I hate opening presents in front of people.  I hate having "Happy Birthday" sung to me while I sit there with everyone staring at me.  I hate blowing out the candles.  So, I usually do everything I can not to have a party.  My birthday is also at a very busy time of year.  I don't want to add anything else to my schedule or anyone else's. 

This year my husband asked me what I would like to do on my birthday.  I told him I would love to go out for the day.  Maybe get a manicure, go shopping or something.  The only thing is I wouldn't want to go and leave the house a mess or have anything else to do. Just a relaxing day.  I also would love to just go out to dinner with him and the kids.

Well, yesterday my wonderful man took me out to a beautiful park for the day.  The Lord blessed us with a warm, sunny day.  It was perfect. We sat by the pond relaxing and talking.    We walked the nature trails, saw a snapping turtle and simply enjoyed being together. 

On the way back Dave decided we should stop home so he could change his shirt before we went out to dinner with the kids (who were with Auntie all day--Thank you!!!).  We walked into the house and I smelled laundry detergent. Hmmm...that is weird.  I hadn't done laundry.   When I got upstairs, there were clothes hanging on the clothes racks. I thought, "When in the world did he get that laundry done?"  Then I looked.  Could it be a perfectly clean house.  How in the world did that happen?  My mom, sisters, mom-in-law, sisters-in-law, and neices!!!!  I was soooo surprised (and embarrassed my house was such a disaster).  What a blessing!!!! 

It was just a perfect day.  After the shock, we picked up the kids and headed out for dinner.  Steak and Lobster tails...an Outback special.  It was delicious. 

What a day!!!!  It is very overwhelming.  It is hard to list all of the blessings of the day in a few short paragraphs.  To sum it up..."Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation..." --Ps 68:19 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Taco Quiche

I made this quiche for a girl's night at a friend's house.  Because of needing to be grain free, I modified two recipes to make this one.  It came out pretty well. Next time I might add a salsa layer to the top.  One of the recipes called for chopped lettuce as a topping which might be a nice addition as well.

1 lb. ground beef
1 packet taco seasoning
1/2 cup chopped onions
6 or 7 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
3-4 cups shredded cheddar cheese (I shredded about 16 oz of cheddar cheese)

Toppings:
3/4 cup chopped tomato
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 cup chopped green onions
2 cups shredded mexican blend cheese
1/4 cup of olives.

Preheat oven to 375. Grease casserole dish.  Brown ground beef with onions.  Drain. Add taco seasoning. Prepare according to package directions.

In a large bowl beat the eggs well.  Add sour cream, beat well.  Stir in taco seasoned meat and cheese. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.  Cool for 10 minutes.  Spread sour cream over the top.  Sprinkle with tomato, onion, green pepper, olives and cheese.  Serve immediately.

Where does the time go?

My little girl, LE, is growing so fast.  On Sunday she told me she needed to make a homemade dessert for a Kid's choir party at church.  We spent yesterday afternoon making chocolate chip cookies.  It seems like it wasn't too long ago that baking with her was a bit of a test of my patience.  Now, at 5, she is very interested in getting out all of the ingredients, measuring, even scooping the dough onto the pan.  (We have this great cookie scoop that a friend gave me http://www.kitchencollection.com/Temp_Products.cfm?sku=01094782  works very well for small hands. With help from mom of course) Not only is she interested, she does a great job! 

Yesterday, was a hectic day for us...dentist appointments (a cavity...ugh), bottle and can recycling, baking, cooking, cleaning.  Trying to get it all done before mom going out at night and kids camping out with dad in the backyard.  Inspite of the craziness, it is nice to have that one small spot in the day making a memory with my little girl.  It is my prayer that those little "spots" in the day will be something she keeps in her heart for the rest of her life and helps make her the lady I desire her to become.  That she will be able to look back and say, "I remember when me and mom used to..."  I know I will.

"Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward."-Ps 127:3

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Grain Free Granola

Actually, it is just a bunch of nuts and fruit, but when you haven't had cold cereal in almost 3 month it is a very satisfying treat.  I added fresh blueberries to mine. 

Ingredients:

1 1/2-2 cups sliced almonds
1 1/2-2 cups chopped walnuts
1 1/2 cups or so unsweetened shredded coconut
Dried fruit to taste (fresh fruit or frozen berries are a nice addition to each serving)
Mix all together in an airtight container or bag.  Store in the fridge.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Crawling with homeschoolers

On Monday WD (my son) and I met some friends at the park.  I was sitting talking to my friend about homeschooling curriculum and such.  I looked up and there was a lady looking at me smiling.  She said, "Homeschoolers?"  I said, "Yes."  Thus starting a conversation about homeschooling, homeschool groups (she started one which has about 28 homeschoolers) and curriculum. A little while later we took a walk around the pond which was full of tadpoles...can't wait to go back in a couple weeks to see all the frogs.  Anyway, there were two boys fishing.  My friend said, "I bet they are homeschooled."  She asked one of the boys where he went to school and he informed us he was homeschooled.  WD and his friends had a great time watching the boys fish (using a dead frog and live dragon flies...yuck, definitely a job for dad or grandpa).  It is so exciting to find others not in your "circle of friends" who homeschool. 

Homeschooling is a wonderful opportunity.  It is a lot of work.  Some days are frustrating.  Some days there is no time to do anything but school.  Dishes, laundry, projects, (dust LOL!) pile up.  You stand there looking at the house and saying, "What I am I doing?  I can't do it all?"  Then you remember that you only have your kids for 18 years give or take a few.  You remember that they probably won't remember the things that were not done, but they will remember the things that were done.  The time spent working with them, teaching them not just accademics, but life skills, the scriptures, character.  When discouraged and overwhelmed, we must step back and look at the big picture. What will the kids remember-the dusty woodwork and unfinished projects or the time spent laying under a tree outside reading Charlotte's Web?  Investing ourselves in our children (meshing as I heard one mom say) is what they will remember.  It is what makes them who they are.  

"And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up." Deuteronomy 6:7
"And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up." Deuteronomy 11:19

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Our Verse

"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee." -Isaiah 26:3  What better way to start a blog than to share my favorite verse. 

About 15 years ago I was dating my husband.  I was about 17 and very nervous about our relationship as I was so young.  One day the Lord brought this verse to mind.  Amazingly, the next letter I received from "my man" had the very same verse signed to it.  I hadn't shared what the Lord gave me with him.  It was just like the Lord was saying, "Trust me.  It will all be okay."  Since then, it has been "Our Verse."

God has used this verse in our lives so many times I can't even tell you.  Keeping our focus on Him is a not an easy task.  Daily life takes our mind off of our Lord, but His promise is still true.  If we keep our heart and mind "stayed" on Him, He in return will give His "perfect peace."  Life has many "bumps in the road" but God is faithful!